Over 23 years ago Swindon Council excavated 100,000 cubic yards of spoil to create Peatmoor lagoon which was taken half a mile away to create a hill next to the Swindon to Gloucester railway line. Now the hill is to be dismantled to be come a flood storage area and the material spread out over phase three of Shaw Forest Park.
“I know it sounds complicated but this is saving Swindon Council a lot of money,” said Bob Fisher (pictured right), site manager of the Shaw Forest restoration project. “The material dug out when the lagoon was made in the early 1980s was piled up by the railway line because it was too expensive to move it far. It was pretty much forgotten until we started looking for earth to cap the work we’re doing on the forest. It was a surprise that we had the soil to complete the project.”
Project manager David Rudland said the discovery was fortuitous. “We had been looking at importing the soil from Blunsdon or Purton, but having it right next to Shaw Forest will save tens of thousands of pounds. What’s more, the area where the hill is will become a 100 year rainfall flood storage area for the forest which is another saving.”
People walking or cycling along the River Ray parkway close to Shaw Forest will have noticed plastic wildlife fencing put up for ecologists to study the area. Subject to their report, work on moving the hill should start at the end of the year.”
Phase 3 will not be ready for public visits for another 18 months until contractors have completed landscaping and initial tree planting.
A cycle and pedestrian route from Sparcells to the River Ray Parkway has reopened to the public after construction of a water filtering reed beds.
“We’d like to thank everybody for their patience whilst the work was going on,” said Bob Fisher.